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NEWSLETTER #135
Blues & Gospel
Charles Brown -> Robert Nighthawk

 

 

 
 
CHARLES BROWN Collectables 2891 The Very Best Of Charles Brown ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, 69 mins, highly recommended
Very nice! There've been a lot of Charles Brown CDs out drawn from his lengthy career but this is the first CD devoted exclusively to his King recordings which he made for Syd Nathan between 1961 and 1968 - many of them appearing in true stereo for the first time. This is almost all his King recordings with the exception of some of his Christmas songs (he recorded a whole LPs worth) which will not be geatly missed and are available on a King Christmas CD. It opens with his 1961 recording of Please Come For Christmas and ends with 1968 remakes of two of his classic Aladdin sides Black Night and Merry Christmas. Material and arrangements are varied ranging from straight blues to jumping R&B to doo-wop songs to a few pop flavored to an R&B cover of the bluegrass song I Don't Want Your Rambling Letter. There are a couple of fine duets with Amos Milburn, a superb cover of Rosie & The Originals' Angel Baby, the very soulful
Christmas Blues and more. Throughout Charles smooth and silky vocals are a joy - groups range from small to largish with the occasional vocal chorus rearing it's ugly head. Nobody seems to know who the musicians are on these sessions which is a shame as there is some fine guitar and tenor playing on some of the tracks. A fine addition to your collection of Charles Brown recordings! (FS)

 
CLARENCE "GATEMOUTH" BROWN Hightone 8174 Timeless ● CD $16.98
11 tracks, 58 minutes, excellent
If you ever run into Gatemouth Brown and decide to introduce yourself, don't tell him he's a great blues musician - Gate doesn't pigeonhole himself and doesn't care to have anyone else offer to do it for him. The 58 minutes of "Timeless” prove clearly that Brown is all over the map with an ability to play any style of music that he wishes. Here, he covers Fletcher Henderson's Soft Wind, Jay McShann's Jumpin' The Blues, Duke Ellington's Satin Doll, Hoyt Garrick's Dark End Of The Hallway, and Josef Zawinal's Mercy, Mercy, Mercy as well as digging into a nine-minute version of The Drifter and a handful of other originals. (CR)

 
NORA JEAN BRUSO Severn 030 Going Back To Mississippi ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 63 minutes, excellent
Another new addition to the Severn roster is Nora Jean Bruso with a solid and all-original CD showing her writing skills to great effect. Following a couple of minor label efforts and some great work with Jimmy Dawkins, Bruso steps up and proves her mettle with a winner. The guitar chores are split between Jimmie Jacobs, Brian Lupo, and Carl Weathersby (with Dave Specter on two cuts), Rob Waters' keyboard work, and Harlan Terson and Marty Binder anchoring the rhythm section. A nice mix of shuffles, slow drags, and grinding modern blues with an eye on the past, never straying from the feel and groove so integral to this music. Here's hoping Severn continues with what they've been successful with - newer and established artists that receive the needed muscle and promotion behind them. (CR)

 
BLIND JAMES CAMPBELL Arhoolie 438 And His Nashville Street Band ● CD $9.98
23 tracks, 64 mins, recommended
Not a new new release but now part of Arhoolie's budget series. Delightful and unique collection featuring recordings of a Nashville street band made in 1962 and 1963. Originally issued on LP in 1963 the CD reissue adds 8 previously unissued cuts. Being a street band playing for the passing by public they were familiar with a wide variety of material including blues, hillbilly, jazz and more. The group is led by singer/ guitarist Campbell who is joined by Beauford Clay on fiddle and Bell Ray on second fiddle or guitar plus, on some cuts George Bell on trumpet and Ralph Robinson on tuba! The group is very loose and ragged but entertaining on songs like Have I Stayed Away Too Long/ Will The Circle Be Unbroken/ Baby Please Don't Go/ This Little Light Of Mine/ Gambling Man/ I Never Had Nothing/ Beauford's Boogie Woogie/ Pick & Shovel Blues and more. For some inexplicable reason the worst tracks with some really out of tune fiddle are put at the beginning of the CD which may discourage you from investigating further which is a shame as once you get past those the music is a lot of fun. (FS)
BLIND JAMES CAMPBELL: Baby Please Don't Go/ Beauford's Boogie Woogie/ Beauford's Breakdown/ Buffalo Gal/ Detroit Blues/ Detroit Jump/ Do You Remember/ Gambling Man/ Have I Stayed Away Too Long/ I Am So Blue When It Rains/ I Never Had Nothing/ I'm Crazy About You Baby/ Jam Piece (George's Boogie)/ Jimmy's Blues/ John Henry/ Monkey Man Blues/ My Gal Got Evil/ Pick And Shovel Blues/ Sittin' Here Drinking/ The Moon May Rise In Blood/ This Little Light Of Mine/ When The Saints Go Marching In/ Will The Circle Be Unbroken

 
W.C. CLARK Alligator 4897 Deep In The Heart ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 55 minutes, recommended
W.C. Clark returns with another great Alligator disc loaded with superb music that burns blue, reeks soul, and displays his powerful voice and bristling guitar. Special guests include Marcia Ball who duets with Clark on You Left The Water Running and Soul Kind Of Loving while Ruthie Foster helps out on I Want To Do Everything For You. The supporting cast includes Derek O'Brien, Pat Boyack, Tony Braunagel, Mark Kazanoff with The Texas Horns and others. For straight blues fans, Clark delivers Cold Blooded Lover/ My Texas Home/ Okie Dokie Stomp, and Ain't Lost Nothin' as he does everything else; with all eight cylinders running wide open. (CR)

 
ELIZABETH COTTEN Smithsonian Folkways 40147 Shake Sugaree ● CD $15.98
Reissue of Folkways 31003 plus 10 bonus, previously unissued tracks, by this wonderfully gifted musician from North Carolina. It features her beautiful and influential finger picking guitar work and distinctive creaky vocals as well as vocals by her 12 year old granddaughter Brenda Evand who sings the frequently covered title songs. Other tracks include Washington Blues/ Fox Chase/ Fare You Well My Darling/ Mama, Nobody's here But The Baby/ Look And Live, My Brothers/ Jesus Is Tenderly Calling/ Ruben/ Can't Get A Letter From Down The Road and others - all recorded by Mike Seeger in 1965 and '65. Includes 28 page booklet with notes by Seeger and Libba's manager John Ullman.

 
GUY DAVIS Red House 175 Legacy ● CD $15.98
15 tracks, 54 minutes, very good
Whether he's your cup of tea or not, Guy Davis has made quite a splash over the years. "Legacy" is another varied menu of his musical vision. Uncle Tom's Dead has Davis talking about the importance of blues to a modern-day, rap-hooked gangster over a hip-hop groove while he touches on straight blues with Come Back Baby and Cypress Grove. There's plenty of gently rolling folk and more here with a small band consisting of upright bass, drums, mandolin, accordion, and lead guitar. While Davis might not be the savior for blues that many had him pigeon-holed as, his importance has been established and he's proven he isn't afraid to color outside the lines to attract a wide range of listeners. The 16-page booklet contains lyrics along with a nicely done cartoon feature story by Davis as well. (CR)

 
JESSY DIXON/ GERALDINE GAY/ NASH SHAFFER,JR. The Sirens 5010 In The Right Hands - Chicago Gospel Keyboard ● CD $15.98
11 tracks, 46 minutes, highly recommended
Another superb disc from Chicago's Sirens label, and the second gospel release in their catalog. Jessy Dixon hands in The Wicked Shall Cease From Their Troubling/ Hold On/ God Is Standing By/ He'll Fight My Blues with brilliant piano and soulful vocals, Geraldine Gay offers her piano on God Shall Wipe The Tears Away /I Have A Friend/ That's What I Like About Jesus/ How I Got Over/ I've Done My Work and Neil Shaffer's rippling organ works testifies on four. Other vocals are handled by Pastor Donald Gay and Gregory Gay Jr. while D'Artagnon Gunn's drumming is present on all and John Whitfield's bass sets the bottom on a pair. This is pure and simple gospel at its best. (CR)

 
KIRK FLETCHER Delta Groove 101 Shades Of Blue ● CD $15.98
17 tracks, 71 minutes, highly recommended
Previously issued on the German Crosscut label this U.S. release features three bonus tracks. Although Kirk "Eli" Fletcher isn't a household name in blues circles yet, his credibility as a blues guitarist is unquestionable. He's old school all the way and respects the traditional approach, something sadly missing from most players his age. Joined here by Kim Wilson, who supplies killer harp and vocals on Bad Boy and My Home Is A Prison (incredibly lowdown), plus a few others, Finis Tasby jumps in on Welfare Blues/ Worried Man Blues, and more, and Janiva Magness also handles a few sounding great. With sideman assistance from the likes Richard Innes, Ronnie James Weber, and Jeff Turmes, the heat is on high and Fletcher is masterful without showboating. From down-home grit to uptown jump, modern blues doesn't get much better than this! Bonus cuts includes an alternate take of the instrumental Club Zanzibar, an acoustic version of Don't Go No Further and Janiva Mgness singing B.B.'s You Don't Know. (CR)

 
CLASSIC BLUES ARTWORK FROM THE 1920S Blues Images 205 2005 Calendar ● CD $16.98
CALENDAR Essential. Well it's that time again and we have another spectacular blues calendar from the indefatigable John Tefteller. This 12"x 12" beauty features reproductions of 12 of the images discovered by collector Tefteller drawn from a cache of original artwork for advertisements printed in African-American newspapers in the late 20s and early 30s by the Paramount Record Company advertising their latest blues releases. Some of these have been published before from third generation microfilm - these are immaculate reproductions from the original artwork. Illustrations includes 12x12 ads for songs by Skip James, Ma Rainey, Ed Bell, Charley Patton, Blind Blake, The Beale Street Sheiks and others along with lots of smaller sized ads. The calendar includes sample song lyrics, brief biographies and birth and death dates for many blues artists. But wait! There's more! The calendar comes with a bonus CD featuring 16 rare blues tracks, mostly from the Paramount label and including a recording of all the songs in the main advertisements plus four bonus recently discovered songs one each by King Solomon Hill and Blind Boy Reynolds which have been reissued by Yazoo and two titles by the Memphis Jug Band which have never appeared anywhere before. Since these would make such a great gift if you buy five or more calendars you can get them for $15.98 each! Calendar/ CD set counts as four CDs for shipping purposes.

 
BLIND BOY FULLER JSP JSPCD 7735 1935-1938 Remastered ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 100 tracks, highly recommended
It is amazing how fresh Blind Boy Fuller's work sounds after nearly seventy years. His strong voice and cleanly picked National guitar greet you like a firm handshake, and his combination of blues and faster pieces - rags and hokum like What's That Smells Like Fish (blindness must have sharpened his other senses!) provides plenty of variety. His guitar style was influenced by Gary Davis and Blind Blake, and although more workmanlike was still highly effective. He could also play excellent slide, as he shows on Homesick And Lonesome Blues (inspired by his first recording trip to New York). Fuller gathered much of his material from records, so that each of these discs is also a quiz for blues fans to spot the sources, but really the music is too enjoyable and Fuller's reworkings so complete as to make such considerations irrelevant. Among many highlights are the sessions for Decca that produced the lovely Weeping Willow, and the final session here which ends with Blacksnakin' Jiver, unfortunately damaged but which might almost be a Blind Blake recording. Fuller is supported by some great washboard playing from Bull City Red while the later sessions see the start of Sonny Terry's long recording career (on Fuller's recommendation). The 38 remaining tracks which will complete this chronological reissue are scheduled for release as part of an East Coast box in 2005.
JSP have done another very thorough remastering job here, and apart from a handful of noticeably worn or damaged sides sound quality is very good throughout. There is very little to choose between the sound here and corresponding tracks on the best sounding single disc compilation (Columbia CK46777) except there is slightly less background hiss on some of the JSP transfers. Elsewhere sound is generally significantly better than on other reissues including the complete works on Document. It is particularly pleasing to hear previously noisy but important tracks like the autobiographical Big House Bound in reasonable quality. Neal Slaven, as is now customary with this series, provides detailed notes on Fuller's life and career, noting that, although Fuller was the much more popular in the 30s, his reputation "sheds a pale light compared with the mega-wattage [Robert] Johnson has had thrust upon him". No matter, Fulton Allen was an outstanding artist. Keep on truckin'. (DPR)

 
LOWELL FULSON JSP JSPCD 7728 1946-1953: The Early Recordings ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 113, tracks, 313 minutes, essential
It could be time to trade in a lot of the other vintage Lowell Fulson recordings on your shelves to make room for this incredible 4-CD boxed set. Covering the years 1946 to 1953, laced with 113 tracks, and great sound, this is prime Lowell Fulson from the Big Town, Down Beat, Swingtime, and Trilon labels and the set includes eight alternate titles. Lowell's guitar work could often be absolutely devastating, as shown here to great effect on Guitar Shuffle/ Jukebox Shuffle/ Cash Box Boogie/ Market Street Blues, and more. Joining Fulson are some stellar names including Lloyd Glenn and Billy Hadnott (who also aided T-Bone Walker - another West Coast guitar wonder), as well as Eldridge McCarty's piano, Que Martyn's tenor sax, Earl Brown's alto, and Lowell's brother Martin Fulson on second guitar for sixteen tracks. From jumping small-band romps to stripped-down Texas grit with just twin guitars, there's a wealth of great music here. The sonics on this massive set are hands above what many will have of Lowell Fulson on various labels, including Night Train (which sound like they were tweaked by an engineer with severe hearing loss). there's no deficiency at all here; no dropout, no hiss, no pops or clicks, and at almost five hours of listening time, it's simply the finest document of Fulson's earlier years before he went on to Aladdin, Checker, Kent, and further. In a recording career that went on for decades, Lowell Fulson stands as a stellar figure with a pen that managed some definitive classics, and guitar work that can rattle your bones to the core. With complete session information and detailed liner notes by Neil Slaven, this is absolutely stunning material, and well worth the relatively small investment. (CR)
LOWELL FULSON: 9.30 Shuffle/ Ain't Nobody's Business/ Baby Won't You Jump With Me/ Back Home Blues/ Best Wishes/ Between Midnight And Day/ Black Cat Blues/ Black Widow Spider Blues/ Blue Shadows/ Blues And Misery/ Blues With A Feelin'/ Cash Box Boogie (aka Lowell Jumps One)/ Christmas Party Shuffle/ Cold Hearted Mama/ Come Back Baby/ Country Boy/ Crying Blues/ Crying Blues (Crying Won't Make Me Stay)/ Demon Woman (= I Had A Little Woman 7110 also = Hear Me Calling You (Angel/ Did You Ever Feel Lucky/ Don't Be So Evil/ Don't Be So Evil (Alt)/ Don't You Hear Me Calling You/ Double Trouble Blues/ Every Day I Have The Blues/ Fillmore Mess Around (= Fulson's Guitar Boogie)/ Fulson Blues/ Fulson Boogie/ Fulson Boogie/ Fulson's Blues/ Good Woman Blues/ Guitar Shuffle (= The Day Is Passing On)/ Highway '99'/ Highway 99/ I Walked All Night/ I Want To See My Baby/ I Want To See My Baby (Alt)/ I love My Baby/ I'm A Night Owl Part 1/ I'm A Night Owl Part 2/ I've Been Mistreated/ I've Been Mistreated (Diff Song )/ Is Your Friend Really Your Friend/ It's Hard To Believe Alt/ Jam That Boogie/ Jelly, Jelly/ Jimmy's Blues (I've Got A Mind To Ramble)/ Juke Box Shuffle (= 9:30 Shuffle)/ Just A Poor Boy/ Lazy Woman Blues/ Let Me Love You Baby/ Let Me Ride In Your Little Automobile/ Let's Live Right/ Let's Throw A Boogie Woogie/ Lonesome Christmas Part 1/ Lonesome Christmas Part 2/ Low Society Blues/ Mama Bring Your Clothes Back Home/ Market Street Blues/ Mean Old Lonesome Song/ Mean Woman Blues/ Mean Woman Blues/ Midnight Showers Of Rain/ Miss Katie Lee Blues/ Miss Katy Lee Blues/ Miss Lillie Brown/ My Baby/ My Baby Left Me/ My Daily Prayer/ My Gal At Eight/ My Woman Can't Be Found/ Night And Day/ Prison Bound/ Rainy Day Blues/ Rambling Blues/ Rambling Blues/ Ride Until The Sun Goes Down/ River Blues Part 1/ River Blues Part 2/ Rock This House Alt/ Rocking After Midnight/ San Francisco Blues/ San Francisco Blues/ Scotty's Blues/ Sinner's Prayer/ Sinner's Prayer Alt/ So Long, So Long/ Stormin' And Rainin'/ Sweet Jenny Lee/ Tears At Sunrise/ Television Blues/ Tell Me Baby/ The Blues Come Rollin' In/ The Blues Got Me Down/ The Blues Is Killing Me/ The Day Is Slowly Passing Alt/ The Highway Is My Home (= Why Can't You Cry For Me)/ The Train Is Leaving/ Thinkin' Blues/ Thinkin' Blues/ Three O'Clock Blues/ Trouble Blues/ Tryin' To Find My Baby/ Trying To Find My Baby/ Upstairs/ Wee Hours In The Morning/ Western Union Blues/ Whiskey Blues/ Why Can't You Cry For Me/ Wild About You Baby/ You're Going To Miss Me When I'm Gone Alt/ You're Gonna Miss Me (When I'm Gone)/ You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone

 
CHIEF SCHABUTTIE GILLIAME Random Chance 17 Snakes Crawls At Night ● CD $14.98
Gravel voiced Arizona bluesman with a collection of 10 original songs accompanied by Kid Ramos, Louisiana Red, JUnior Watson, Rusty Zinn, Chico Chism, Buddy Reed, Bob Corritore and others.

 
LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS Columbia CK 86988 Hello Central - The Best Of Lightnin' Hopkins ● CD $11.98
20 tracks, 56 mins, highly recommended
A beautiful collection of sides by the king of Texas blues recorded for Bob Shad's SIW and Jax label between 1950 and '52. Accompanied on most tracks by the bass of Donald Cooks, Lightnin' recorded some of his most popular songs for Shad including his chart hits Hello Central and Coffee Blues. He also does a remake of his first hit Short Haired Woman plus other fine and intense blues like Long Way From Texas/ Worried Blues (Lightnin's reworking ofWorried Life Blues) and Everybody's Down On Me plus some driving boogies like Gotta Move and Tap Dance Boogie (with Lightnin' tapping with bottle caps on his shoes). Superb singing and playing and excellent sound from original tapes on this reissue. Includes usual quality notes from Bill Dahl. If you are a Lightnin' fan you probably have previous reissues of these recordings but if you are new to his exceptional talents this is most worthwhile.(FS)

 
HOWLIN' WOLF Ace CDCHM 1013 Howling Wolf Sings The Blues ● CD $12.98
20 essential, 60 mins, essential
First a caveat - if you have Ace 333 or Fuel 61220 then you already have all the Howlin' Wolf tracks here. However this has superior sound thanks to new remastering from best original sources and comprehensive notes by Dave Sax which helps disentangle the complicated history of Wolf's early recordings. This also has two instrumental tracks by Joe Hill Louis (also on Ace 803) which are included since the first ten tracks are the same as those included on the LP Crown 5240 issued in 1962 which misidentified these tracks as by Wolf. These early recordings from 1951 & '52, for the Bihari Brothers, feature Wolf at his most ferocious with his vocals and primitive harmonica accompanied by a hard driving band with, on most tracks, the shattering overamped guitar of Willie Johnson, the raucous piano of Ike Turner plus drummer Willie Steele. A couple of tracks feature lead guitar by Pat Hare or Calvin Newbern and Albert Williams is thought to be the pianist on some cuts. These are truly exciting and unforgettable performances including songs like Riding In The Moonlight/ Crying At Daybreak (recorded five years later for Chess as Smokestack Lightning)/ House Rockin' Boogie/ Dog Me Around/ Driving This Highway/ My Friends/ Passing By Blues and others. Besides the notes the 12 page booklet includes photos, label shots and reproductions of rare posters. (FS)

 
MAHALIA JACKSON Disky 902021 This Is Gold ● CD $13.98
3 CDs, 60 tracks, highly recommended
Budget priced three CD set featuring 60 of Mahalia's great recordings for Apollo made between 1946 and 1954. By the time Mahalia Jackson recorded for Apollo Records, she was nearly 35 years old and was at her prime - full-throated and very confident. These recordings feature wonderful syncopated rhythms (usually played by her longtime accompanist, pianist Mildred Falls). This was especially the case with her recordings with Falls and blind organist Herbert James Francis, which include the two part Move On Up A Little Higher ('47)/ I Can Put My Trust In Jesus ('49), and her version of the Robert Anderson masterpiece, Prayer Changes Things ('49). Black Harmony fans should also take note, as she's accompanied by The Southern Harmonaires (aka Eugene Mumford & The Larks) on He's My Light, In The Upper Room (with David McNeil handling the bass vocal bridge), and Said He Would (where McNeil recreates a 'human mouth' bass sound). The Melody Echoes were also used on Beautiful Tomorrow and I Believe and Consider Me. Now that the Westside three CD set is gone this is the most comprehensive reissue of Mahalia's Apollo sides and although the sound is not as good as the Westside and there are no notes this is indispensable for any gospel collection. (EL/FS)

 
THE JELLY ROLL ALL STARS Severn 0029 Must Be Jelly ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 52 minutes, essential
What do you get when you put together a band that includes a rhythm section of Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Calvin "Fuzz" Jones (both former bandmembers of Muddy Waters), and then add Little Arthur Williams' harmonica and vocals, along with Sam Carr's drumming chops on a few cuts? The Jelly Roll All-Stars laying down some rockin' juke-joint blues is what you get. Filling out the band is the fine guitar work (and two vocals) of Jesse Hoggard (from the Junkyardmen) and pianist Bob Lohr. Williams takes the lion's share of the vocal chores delivering five Jimmy Reed style numbers, Smith tackles a pair, and Hoggard has two others. The remainder of the set is fleshed out with some gutsy instrumentals and Arthur Williams talking in short snippets. It's not pretty, but it's not meant to be. This is some fine, deep, and dirty blues guaranteed to please. Frank Frost would be proud of these guys. (CR)

 
LARRY JOHNSON Biograph BCD 138 Midnight Hour Blues ● CD $14.98
Back in stock. 1971 album with John Hammond on harp and National steel guitar. Includes Blood Red River/ Saturday Evening Blues/ Walking Blues/ Red River Dam Blues/ Midnight Hour Blues/ Tell Me Mama, etc.
LARRY JOHNSON: Blood Red River/ Mama-Less Rag/ Midnight Hour Blues/ Nobody's Biz-ness/ One Room Country Shack/ Peace Breakin' People/ Red River Dam Blues/ Saturday Evening Blues/ Tell Me Mama/ Walking Blues/ When Things Go Wrong

 
LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5676 "Live" - New York 1947/ Austin, Texas 1949 ● CD $15.98
21 track collection. The first four sides were recorded live in 1947 at New York Town Hall in September 1947 where Leadbelly is accompanied by the Bunk Johnson band (Johnson, Jimmy Archy, Omer Simeon, Danny Barker, etc) and the remainder recorded at the University Of Texas, Austin in June, 1949 just six months before his death and are some of the very last recordings of this giant.

 
ROBERT LOCKWOOD JR./ BOOGIE BILL WEBB Storyville 8055 The Blues Of Robert Lockwood Jr. & Boogie Bill Webb ● CD $22.98
Two Mississippi bluesmen recorded in New Orleans - Lockwood solo in 1984 and Webb with harmonica player Harmonica Slim. Neither artist is at their best on mostly very familiar material - In The Evening When The Sun Goes Down/ Exactly Like You/ They Gonna Ball Tonight/ She's Little And She's Low/ Angel Child/ Harmonica Blues/ Hoochie Coochie Man/ I Thought I Had Myself A Good Woman, etc.

 
JANIVA MAGNESS Northern Blues 022 Bury Him At The Crossroads ● CD $16.98
13 tracks, 48 minutes, excellent
With five CDs and numerous awards already, Janiva Magness delivers "Bury Him At The Crossroads", her first outing for the Canadian label. Jeff Turmes hands in top-notch songwriting along with various musical talents (bass, guitar, sax, and banjo) while Colin Linden takes the lion's share of guitar work and production. J.B. Lenoir's The Whale Has Swallowed Me, Magic Sam's Everything Gonna Be Alright, Rev. Robert Wilkins' That's No Way To Get Along, and Oliver Sain's The Soul Of A Man headline the covers. Magness has a searing voice that can raise the temperature to white-hot levels or cool things down where necessary, as with Delbert McClinton's Ain't Lost Nothin' or Turmes' comical Eat The Lunch You Brought. Her ability to appeal to a wide-ranging market is evident whether it's straight blues, crushing soul, or hefty R&B. Plain and simple, this is superb stuff. (CR)

 
THE MANNISH BOYS Delta Groove 100 That Represent Man ● CD $15.98
Excellent new West Coast group featuring vocalist Finis Tasby with guitarists Kirk Fletcher and Frank Goldwasser and Leon Blue/ piano, Ronnie James/ bass and June Core/ dtums. 17 songs, mostly covers with various guests including Randy Chortkoff/ harmonica, Johnny Dyer/ vocal & harmonica, Roy Gaines/ vocal & guitar, Mickey Champion/ vocal and Paul Oscher/ slide guitar.

 
MEMPHIS MINNIE & OTHERS Biograph BCD 124 Early Rhythm & Blues ● CD $14.98
16 tracks, 45 mins, essential
Back in stock. A wonderful collection of sides recorded for New Jersey label Regal Records in 1949. Only a few of these were originally issued on 78 rpm - the rest turned up some years ago when Biograph were going through Regal tapes and subsequently appeared on various Biograph LPs. There are 5 sides by the great Memphis Minnie including two very different takes of Night Watchman Blues. Although Minnie was no longer a big blues name she is in top form singing with as much power as ever and playing a more contemporary plangent electric guitar style. She punctuates her vocals with squeals, asides and some of the most lascivious chuckles you have ever heard. She was obviously having a good time and you will two. Jimmy Rogers is here with a pre Chess version of his great Ludella There are four tracks by St. Louis Jimmy accompanied by a fine small group. Jimmy was one of the great blues songwriters and this is well in evidence here. Other artists include Sunnyland Slim, Little Brother Montgomery and fine Louisiana down home singer guitarist Pee Wee Hughes. Every track is fine, sound is superb and there are informative notes by Brett Bonner. (FS)
PEE WEE HUGHES: Shreveport Blues/ Suga Mama Blues/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: Down Home Girl/ Kid Man Blues/ Night Watchman Blues (Tk.1)/ Night Watchman Blues (Tk.2)/ Why Did I Make You Cry/ LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: A & B Blues/ After Hour Blues/ Vicksburg Blues/ JIMMY ROGERS: Ludella/ ST. LOUIS JIMMY: Hard Work Boogie/ I Sit Up All Night/ State Street Blues/ Your Evil Ways/ SUNNYLAND SLIM: When I Was Young

 
MEMPHIS SLIM & SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON Hip-O DVD 03135 Live In Europe ● CD $18.98
DVD Black & White, 60 minutes, essential As with their previous DVD releases, Experience Hendrix and Hip-O have again maintained their high standards. Ten of these performances were done in Brussels in 1963 for a television show with a backdrop 'staged' to resemble a nightclub. Memphis Slim is backed by Matt Murphy's riveting guitar and the rock steady drumming of Bill Stepney and is superb doing The Blues Is Everywhere/ All By Myself and Wish Me Well, among others. From the same taping, Sonny Boy Williamson offers I'm A Lonely Man/ Keep It To Yourself/ Your Funeral And My Trial, and a gripping solo rendition of Bye Bye Bird. Slim also contributes Rockin' The House and I'll Just Keep Singing The Blues from 1962 and '63 from AFBF performances (although not issued previously). Sonny Boy also hands in Who's Gonna Take Care Of You/ It's Raining Outdoors, and JFK Blues (from a Swedish short film), and while he is remarkable, he was saddled with two less than capable sidemen. Bonus footage includes Mae Mercer's Careless Love plus Otis Spann from Newport in 1960 doing Boogie Woogie Blues/ Slow Sweet Blues, and St. Louis Blues - supported by James Cotton, Pat Hare, Andrew Stephenson, and Francis Clay. While the quality of Spann's footage is less than pristine, the piano genius is in brilliant form. Essential viewing for all blues aficionados. (CR)

 
BOB MERRILL Blue Moon 6041 Complete Recordings, 1943-1961 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks from singer and trumpet player Merrill. Most of the recordings are from the period 1943 to 1949 with two tracks from aroun 1960/61. Several tracks feature him with his own small band while many find him with the larger orchestras of Jay McShann or Cootie Williams. Merrill is a decent singer though not a particularly expressive one and his echoing of the vocal mannerisms of Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson gets a little tedious.

 
ROBERT NIGHTHAWK Saga Blues 982 076 Ramblin' Bob ● CD $12.98
Nicely packaged compilation of recordings of Robert Lee McCullum featuring 12 tracks recorded between 1937 and 1940 when he recorded under the name of Robert Lee McCoy and 12 recorded between 1948 and 1952 whne he used the name Robert Nighthawk. Lots of great music nicely pakaged in a digipack with 8 page booklet with notes in French and English and discographical information. Includes Tough Time/ Prowling Nighthawk/ Mamie Lee/ Freight Train Blues/ My Sweet Lovin' Woman/ Return Mail Blues/ Crying Won't Help You/ Bricks In My Pillow and more.

 

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